Oh Robbie, not again

As I’ve written before, I’m glad I don’t live in Toronto and have Rob Ford as mayor.  The mayor where I live is so low-key I’m not even sure of his name.

There are reports on both the CBC News site and the Toronto Star news site this morning that Mayor Robbie was asked to leave a gala event called The Garrison Ball on February 23 because he was intoxicated.  The Star article also mentioned that on Saint Patrick’s day hizzoner was asked to leave an establishment because he was also intoxicated.  And the Star article also mentions there are photos on Twitter of Robbie leaving liquor stores with mickeys of vodka.

Apparently it has been an open secret around city hall that Robbie has trouble with drinking and a couple of attempts to get him help, or into rehab, were rebuffed by Robbie.  Even some of his strongest allies are commenting on his problems with alcohol, pointing to such events as his DUI conviction in Florida in 1999 and an occasion at a hockey game where he drunkenly berated a couple in the stands. He at first denied both the DUI and the hockey game incident, but “remembered” when the press turned up his Florida mug shot; and he later apologized to the couple he had harassed.    In the Garrison Ball incident, his brother, Councillor Doug, claims his brother wasn’t intoxicated.  Strangely neither Robbie nor Doug are available for comment, which would seem to belie the “not drunk” claim.

The Garrison Ball ejection came two weeks before what the Toronto media are referring to as “Assgate”, where Robbie was accused by a woman of groping her while they posed for a photo.  She also claimed he appeared to be under the influence of something.

This man has been a disaster as mayor.  His record is filled with leaving council meetings early to coach highschool football; avoiding 99% of events involving the LGBT community, although Pride Week brings in millions in tourist dollars; using his cellphone while driving (against the law in Ontario) and on at least one occasion, reading while driving at 45 miles per hour on an expressway (his excuse was “I’m a busy man”) and at least two court cases, one of which could have cost him his job.  And just this past Sunday, he called a radio show to make what have been called “prehistoric” comments on a case that at the time was before the courts.  The case is now in the hands of the jury.  And perhaps one of the lowest blows of all, on a trade mission to Chicago, the American press called him “obnoxious”.  Americans unfortunately suffer from the “ugly American” stereotype when they venture beyond their borders, so how bad was Robbie that Americans consider him obnoxious?

Robbie is talking of running for a second term as mayor in, I think, 2015 and could actually win. And that would be disastrous for the city.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

smh

There is currently a trial underway in Toronto to determine the guilt or innocence of a man charged with first degree murder in the killing of police officer Sgt Ryan Russell.  I will not use the name of the accused because he’s had enough publicity.  Both the Crown and defence agree the man was driving a snowplow when it hit and killed the officer.  What is at question is the man’s mental state at the time he stole that snowplow and went on a rampage that, at one point included crashing the front window of a Ferrari dealership.

The Crown naturally feels the accused was fully aware of what he was doing.  From the video from the dashcam in the police cruiser, I personally believe the accused deliberately turned that plow around and aimed at the cruiser.  But I’m not involved in the case, just stating my opinion based on broadcast footage.  The defence is claiming diminished capacity and claims their client was not criminally responsible.

This case should be going to the jury about the time I write this.

There’s the Reader’s Digest version of the case.  Yesterday one of the Toronto talk radio stations, CFRB, also known as Newstalk 1010, had a panel of lawyers and legal experts discussing the term “not criminally responsible”.

Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, or at least that portion of Toronto that likes football and subways and isn’t gay, phoned that talk show and once again demonstrated his inability to grasp a situation.  First off, the mayor making public comments on a case currently before the courts seems, at best a lack of common sense, at worst bizarre.  The lawyers said Robbie also appeared to have no understanding at all of “not criminally responsible” or what it meant.  So it would seem that once again Hizzoner has managed to make himself appear an ass.

Another “smh” moment happened Saturday night north of Toronto.  A young man was stopped for doing 65 in a 50 zone (mph).  A breathalyzer showed he was impaired, which means an automatic seizure of vehicle.  His mother was called to pick him up.  When she arrived at the police station, the officer at the desk smelled alcohol on her breath and administered a breathalyzer.  She too was impaired and had her car impounded for 90 days.  The questions that come to my mind on this are these: is she naturally stupid, or had the alcohol so impaired her judgement she didn’t have the sense to call a cab?

Enjoy your week,

Cat.

Politics for the uninterested

I love politics and politicians.  Not because I thrive on politics, but because they provide such wonderful material for these posts.  There were three items on the news sites that caught my attention this morning.

Let’s start with the happy one: I’m not a big fan of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but in this case…  .  Here’s the story: A couple in Ottawa were in a public park taking their wedding photos when Stevie saw them.  He ordered his car stopped and walked over to congratulate them. Now, let’s be honest here – the last person you expect to crash your wedding is the leader of your country.  There are people out there who will claim he will do anything for a photo op, but in this case, I’m not one of those people.  Can you think of a better wedding gift than having, in this case, the Prime Minister of Canada, in the photos.  It is certainly something you’ll talk about for years.

Let’s move on to the “dumb and dumber” part of politics now.  An American politician not named Todd Akin has opened his mouth and it seems by doing so he shot the Romney campaign in the foot again.  Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is reported as having said the following, copied from an article on thestar.com,  “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” .  This was during a debate when he was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape.  Romney’s campaign wasted no time distancing themselves from this comment.  I haven’t been following the American campaign, although I should have paid it some attention for I know that what happens will have an effect on Canada, but I understand that both Obama and Romney consider women key voters in the upcoming election.  And we have this idiot saying something like this?  May I suggest that Mr Mourdock just guaranteed that women voters in Indiana will likely vote for Obama because of his statement?

Civic politicians aren’t really much better in the smarts department on occasion either.  Recently Toronto City councillor Ana Baillao was stopped and charged with driving under the influence – blood alcohol was in excess of the Ontario limit of 0.08.  Ms Baillao had been at some Mayor’s dinner, where she probably imbibed, then went to a different location with some lobbyists for firms wanting to erect a casino in downtown Toronto, where she no doubt enjoyed more “beverages of a sociable nature”.  A few hours later, a police cruiser spotted her driving without headlights.  She ignored his original attempts to stop her.  When she did stop, as I wrote above, she was found to be impaired.  Given this, can anyone tell me why on earth she feels she can plead “not guilty” in court?  Why not just do the right thing and say “I screwed up – I should have taken a cab home”?

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And if you’re drinking, don’t drive.

Cat.